The 3 Most Common Job-Search Mistakes Recent Grads Make
Posted by Casey Nicole on September 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Remember when Oprah was big into "putting thoughts into the universe?" Ok, well that's a little far out there for me, but in a lot of cases our thinking (whether it be positive or negative) can determine what we get out of life. Even when it comes to your job search. Yes, you read the correctly, your thoughts can really affect your chances of getting a job. Withhalf of all recent college graduates either unemployed or underemployed,it’s time to start changing how we think.Here are three very common mistakes recent grads make when it comes to the job search.
1. “I deserve a job because I worked hard to get my degree”
Entirely too many college grads believe that they are essentially entitled to employment simply because of their degree. It’s true that the hard work and dedication they gave during school goes a long way, but it only guarantees graduation, not a job. All of your success in college, like a high GPA, extra-curricular involvement, and even internships will help you in your job search, but they don’t guarantee employment. This kind of thinking leads you to be a passive job seeker who expects the jobs to just come to them.
Instead, analyze and make a list of your skills, qualifications, and past experiences to discover how you can best brand yourself. Then, refer to these, instead of just your education, during job interviews to explain why you’re the best candidate for a job.
Stop believing: “I deserve a job because I worked hard to get my degree”
Start thinking: “How can I show companies that I am the best possible candidate for this job?”
2. “That’s not my dream job, so I won’t bother applying”
The current recession has incredibly decreased the quantity and quality of jobs available for recent graduates, so you’ll be challenged to find and score your “ideal” job right out of school. The most common reasons recent graduates skip applying to too many jobs are:
- Salary - “too low”
- Job title/duties – “not important enough”
- Location – “not close to my family/friends”
- Industry/company – “not my favorite one”
The most importance difference that we should care about in this economy is whether we have a job or not, not whether we’re living in Seattle or Houston, or between working in the tech industry or the entertainment industry.
When you’re just starting out after college, you must realize that a job that reasonably falls within your major or ideal career, is a pathway to further career advancement, networking opportunities, and, of course, income. I’ve noticed that only an elite few of my post-grad friends are already working at their dream job. Quite a few have found jobs in their field, but not in their ideal city, and several others are still in internships or part-time jobs just to get their foot in the door. So, don’t think you’re the only one without a dream job just because Facebook leads you to believe you’re somehow behind others. Realize that you have to start somewhere, and just get started already.
Stop believing: “That’s not my ideal job, so I won’t bother applying”
Start thinking: “This job gets my foot in the door in a company, gives me experience, and the connections I may make here may prove to be invaluable in the future”
3. “If I only knew the CEO/VP of a company, my life would be set!”
Yes, there are benefits from knowing someone, but job networking is not about being handed a dream job just because you know someone, it’s about standing out because you have a referral. You might get your foot in the door for an interview easier, but once you’re there it’s all on you. You still need to prove to the hiring manager that you’re qualified for the position, not just that you have good connections. Are you the right candidate for the job? Are you likeable and confident? If not, you’ve wasted the referral.
Networking is an important resource during your job search; however, just like obtaining a degree, it doesn’t guarantee a job.
Stop thinking: “If I only knew the CEO/VP of a company, my life would be set!”
Start believing: “Networking won’t guarantee me a job, but it will help me get my foot in the door.”
What surprising changes did you make in your thought process while searching for post-grad employment? Was it easy to find employment in your field or did you struggle? Share your experiences below!